28 July 2023

Are you looking to replace your existing small electric counterbalance forklift trucks?

Or moving from diesel forklifts or LPG lift trucks to electrics? Either way, this is a golden opportunity to increase your profits. With the right lift truck choice, your operation will cost less and achieve more.

We’d like to explain how our agile and intelligent 1.4 to 2.0 tonne 48V electric Cat lift trucks take operations to new levels. Packed with technological and ergonomic design advances, the Cat® EP14-20(C)N2(T) range simply does everything better. And each of its advances makes a real difference to the profitability of your business.

Available in 3-wheel (T) and 4-wheel formats, with standard or compact (C) chassis, Cat EP14-20N2 models give you:

  • Greater durability and economy
    Components and systems last longer, need less maintenance and use less energy, so TCO (total cost of operation) is lower.
  • Higher performance and output 
    These forklifts bring amazing agility, speed and precision to every job – and minimise downtime – to boost your productivity.
  • Superior ergonomics and safety
    Driver satisfaction and work rates are improved, while risks of work-related illness and costly accidents are minimised.

Let’s have a look at some of the Cat electric lift truck advances that make this possible…

Durability and economy

Our electric forklift trucks are robustly built to withstand wet, dirty, dusty and other harsh conditions. Effective sealing of key components is vital to this. Low maintenance needs, long service intervals and quick, easy servicing processes further reduce your costs and downtime. Quick battery access and sideways removal features speed up checks and exchanges. An easy-to-read, multifunctional colour display encourages correct use and maintenance of the truck.

The forklifts’ fully electronic magnetic brakes not only require less servicing but save energy. Similarly, the bright LED working lights are both energy efficient and long lasting. Our latest electric motors increase energy efficiency too. With a high RPM range, they also give better precision in acceleration control and generate more torque at low speeds.

You can choose between lead-acid and lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. Li-ion technology means additional savings on lifetime costs. It increases efficiency and runtime between charges, minimises maintenance needs and greatly extends battery lifespan.

Performance and output

Drivers feel that these Cat electric counterbalance forklifts are totally in tune with them. This makes them happy, confident and highly productive. The truck seems to understand and instantly respond to whatever the driver wants it to do. Essential to this is the Cat Responsive Drive System 2 (RDS2).

RDS2 traction tuning adapts performance rapidly in reaction to the speed of pedal operation. In doing so, it ensures all driving movements, starts and stops are smooth. Meanwhile, RDS2 mast tuning adjusts constantly to the driver’s hydraulic control behaviour. It matches functionality, sensitivity and reaction speed optimally to the driver’s needs, for the best possible user experience.

Our optional SmoothFlow load-sensing hydraulic system adds even greater perfection to forklift load handling. It automatically adjusts for weight, to maintain precise, smooth and consistent control. (In forklift trucks without such intelligent hydraulics, lifting and lowering feel very different when the load weight is varied.) SmoothFlow continuously compensates for weight, even when two or more hydraulic functions are being used simultaneously. It ensures consistency of all mast and fork movements.

Additional mast stability measures include passive sway control, automatic height-related speed adjustments and robust design. The net result is reliably stable, safe and controllable mast behaviour.

Manoeuvring in these lift trucks is exceptionally smooth and agile, thanks to their dual drive 4-wheel steering. The +100⁰ rear turning axle even enables instant side turns, with no need for initial backward movement. Drivers also benefit from automatic speed-related steering ratio and force adjustment, as well as advanced curve control. These features optimise precision, turning speeds and stability. Electric differential locking is optionally available, to maximise grip on slippery surfaces.

A time-saving option on our 3-wheel electric counterbalance forklifts is 360⁰ steering. It allows the truck to turn and move in the opposite direction in one smooth manoeuvre, without stopping. By reducing G-forces acting on the load, it enables higher safe turning speeds.

You can select pre-set ECO and PRO performance modes to suit different drivers or tasks. Alternatively, a service engineer can apply customised settings for various parameters.

For reliably powerful performance at every moment, even when heavily loaded, the truck can be optionally equipped with PowerBurst. This feature automatically gives a burst of extra torque, if needed, to maintain ramp speed or to accelerate strongly.

Another performance-related choice is whether to go for lead-acid or for the enhanced performance and runtime of Li-ion batteries. With Li-ion, fast opportunity charging allows continuous operation without battery changes.

Ergonomics and safety

Drivers of all sizes enjoy a comfortable, spacious operator compartment, designed to meet all their needs. A low, deep and wide step leads to a large ‘entry window’ and an uncluttered floor. This combination eases and speeds up on-off access while avoiding risks of tripping. A wide range of seat and steering column adjustability assures a comfortable driving position for every user.

From here, he or she has excellent all-round views, including forward, downward and sideways, with minimal obstruction. Quiet drive units and other low-noise technologies, including our optional, market-leading SilentRun+ hydraulic pumps, add extra comfort. This all contributes to avoiding fatigue, stresses and strains which can reduce your drivers’ efficiency and lead to sick leave.

Ergonomic controls on our electric forklifts include an adjustable armrest with an inbuilt fingertip hydraulic control unit. This provides perfect hand positioning and anatomical support. An alternative option of dual joysticks is available if you prefer it. You can also choose to swap the conventional steering wheel for Palm Steering. Ideal if drivers are seated for long periods, it allows low-effort operation from a very relaxed driving position.

While precise control and clear views are fundamental to safe operation, the trucks also come with supplementary safety features. Our Presence Detection System+ (PDS+) is a good example. PDS+. includes automatic parking brake, hill hold and – if the operator is not seated – prevention of travel and hydraulic movement. A variety of safety lights can be added to the truck as options.

Get the best out of your drivers and your materials handling operation

For further information on the productivity and profitability advantages of Cat electric counterbalance forklifts, click here.

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